Deborah Druick is a painter living and working in New York. She was born in Montreal where she trained at the Museum of Fine Arts and Concordia University. After art school she worked for many years as a window dresser and then as a creative director in retail. This took her to Toronto and then eventually to Hong Kong, where she remained for ten years. Living in Asia was an incredible experience for Deborah: the energy and excitement of Hong Kong were something she had never seen. The geography was striking - she could be by the ocean one minute and hiking up on to the top of a peak overlooking a massive, beautiful harbor an hour later - this stayed with Deborah as she decided which ideas to develop for her painting. Deborah says "I was from where I was from, but when we travel, we are from new places too." She believes that her painting style has been affected by that experience both graphically and stylistically. Before Deborah left Hong Kong, she had a solo show that included both paintings and drawings. She moved to New York with her family and she now works full-time in the studio. In New York, Deborah overlooks a great river as she paints, with ships going by taking cargo to and from all over the world.
"My paintings address issues of gender definition, self- identification and female objectification using stylized figuration and saturated high-key color. I emphasize and exaggerate stereotypical concepts of precision, perfection and beauty in femininity. My females are both representations of self and faceless archetypes, eliciting questions about identity, self-awareness and sentiment. I explore codes of femininity while also addressing issues of willingness and consent. I often insert my subjects into situations where self-control and self-awareness are requisites. My work can best be described as belonging to the “New Surrealist Movement,” using a new visual language to express the objectification of women’s bodies. The border frames that I paint onto the canvas serve as both an additional element of pattern and a transitional bridge from canvas to wall, easing the visual abruptness of the change in surface."
Tell us a little about yourself and your background in the arts.
I’m a Canadian painter who now lives in New York. I was born in Montreal and I went to The Montreal Museum School of Art and Design and Concordia University for my art training. I moved to Toronto and then to Hong Kong where I remained for ten years. I presently have my studio in New York.
What kind of work are you currently making?
My work is about women and femininity. My paintings explore issues of gender and female objectification. I present my females as highly exaggerated, stylized figures leaning on the stereotypical notions that beauty in femininity is about precision and perfection. I present my women as ornaments, objects to be admired foremost for their beauty.
What is a day like in the studio for you?
A normal studio day for me begins at 9:00 a.m. First thing is coffee and fast social media check, then I begin to work. My paintings are very methodical to work on and will often take three weeks to complete. My inspirations and influences come from a lot of visual stimuli, Manga, Outsider art, comics, illustration, street art, and Surrealism to name a few. I also love to visit galleries and Museums on the weekends. With regards to my own work I now have collectors in China, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore as well as in the United States and Canada.
What are you looking at right now and/or reading?
Right now I’m reading an incredible novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, entitled, Klara and the Sun and also the classic, Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung. I really enjoy reading about dream imagery and the symbolism of objects as this plays an important role in my work. I’m looking forward to the great variety of museum shows coming to New York this Fall, a big Jasper Johns retrospective at the Whitney and a Joseph E. Yoakum at Moma, to name a couple.
Where can we find more of your work?